1

barren

play
adjective bar·ren \ˈber-ən, ˈba-rən\

Definition of barren

  1. 1 :  not reproducing: such asa :  incapable of producing offspring —used especially of females or matings barren womenb :  not yet or not recently pregnantc of plants :  habitually failing to fruit barren apple trees

  2. 2 :  not productive: such asa :  producing little or no vegetation :  desolate barren desertsb :  producing inferior crops barren soilc :  unproductive of results or gain :  fruitless a barren scheme

  3. 3 :  devoid, lacking —used with of barren of excitement

  4. 4 :  lacking interest or charm a barren routine

  5. 5 :  lacking inspiration or ideas a barren mind

barrenly

adverb

barrenness

play \-ə(n)-nəs\ noun

Examples of barren in a Sentence

  1. Few creatures can thrive on these barren mountaintops.

  2. The book was good, but I found the barren lives of the characters depressing.

Origin and Etymology of barren

Middle English bareine, from Anglo-French barain, perhaps of Celt origin; akin to Middle Welsh brynar fallow land


First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of barren

bare, naked, nude, bald, barren mean deprived of naturally or conventionally appropriate covering. bare implies the removal of what is additional, superfluous, ornamental, or dispensable. an apartment with bare walls naked suggests absence of protective or ornamental covering but may imply a state of nature, of destitution, or of defenselessness. poor half-naked children nude applies especially to the unclothed human figure. a nude model posing for art students bald implies actual or seeming absence of natural covering and may suggest a conspicuous bareness. a bald mountain peak barren often suggests aridity or impoverishment or sterility. barren plains

2

barren

noun bar·ren

Definition of barren

  1. 1 barrens plural, geography :  an extent of usually level land having an inferior growth of trees or little vegetation

  2. 2 :  a tract of barren land

Examples of barren in a Sentence

  1. lived out in the barrens where it was impossible to grow anything

Origin and Etymology of barren

noun derivative of 1barren


First Known Use: 1651



BARREN Defined for English Language Learners

1

barren

play
adjective bar·ren \ˈber-ən, ˈba-rən\

Definition of barren for English Language Learners

  • : having very few plants : not suitable for plants

  • : not producing fruit or not able to produce fruit

  • of a woman or female animal : not able to produce children or offspring


BARREN Defined for Kids

barren

play
adjective bar·ren \ˈber-ən\

Definition of barren for Students

  1. 1 :  unable to produce seed, fruit, or young barren plants

  2. 2 :  growing only poor or few plants barren soil


Medical Dictionary

barren

play
adjective bar·ren \ˈbar-ən\

Medical Definition of barren

  1. :  incapable of producing offspring—used especially of females or matings

barrenness

\-ən-nəs\play noun


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up barren? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a small amount

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • winning-words-from-the-national-spelling-bee-logo
  • Which is the correct spelling of the winning word from 1988?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!